The UAE government has decided to sever diplomatic relations with the Taliban government of the Republic of Afghanistan.

An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that, over the last few days, the UAE had made intensive efforts with the Taliban government to persuade it to respond positively to the United Nations Security Council resolution demanding that it should hand over Osama bin Laden to face a fair international trial on the accusations levelled against him relating to the terrorist attacks that took place in New York and Washington on September 11.

These attacks have resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and were a threat to peace, security and stability throughout the world as a whole, the source said.

The official source expressed regret that the Taliban government had failed to respond positively to these efforts, made by the UAE and by other governments.

The UAE, therefore, does not believe that it is possible to continue to maintain diplomatic relations with a government that refuses to respond to the clear will of the international community, as represented by the United Nations Security Council, the source said, adding that, for that reason, the UAE has decided to sever diplomatic relations with the Taliban government in Afghanistan with effect from yesterday.

The source concluded by noting that the UAE, motivated by its concern for the safety of the Afghan people, expresses the hope that the responsible authorities in Afghanistan will re-examine their position, and will respond positively to the requests of the international community.

The UAE Foreign Ministry has asked the acting charge d'affaires at the embassy of Afghnanistan to leave the country within 24 hours.

Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Saif Saeed bin Sa'ed yesterday afternoon summoned in Abu Dhabi, Aziz Al Rahman, the acting charge d'affaires to advise him of the UAE decision. He asked Al Rahman and other members of the embassy staff to leave the country within 24 hours.

According to protocol, the embassy of Afghanistan was regarded closed from yesterday.

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